With our CSA launched this week, our 2021 season is under way. We’ve been hearing from many of you gratitude towards going back to a market style flow and how it gives a sense of things returning to normal. For those of you who joined last year this is all new. I’ll confess, going back to coordinating an in person, market style flow is using a different part of my brain and I’m still trying to reconnect the wires. All and all I think things went well this week, however I did notice a few areas for improvement on our end.

Firstly, I noticed the check in line was longer than I anticipated. We certainly want to be able to greet everyone for the season, however we don’t want everyone to be inconvenienced and have to wait in line. To remedy this we have extended the pickup times at each location and have allocated time slots by alphabetical last name for those that have the flexibility to accommodate. I am also planning on having an extra check-in person available so we can speed things up.

Secondly, I noticed options running out on the tables earlier than I had hoped. It’s a bit tricky anticipating what to bring on the truck. Whether you are the first person at pickup or the last you should feel like there is lots to choose from. Since we don’t know what everyone is going to select in advance we have to do a bit of guessing. However, after this week I’ve been keeping a detailed inventory and taking copious notes. I think we’ll do a much better job keeping the tables full.

Lastly, I realize that some of you may prefer the convenience of pre-pack and delivery like last year. At first I was thinking of how difficult it would be to offer both models simultaneously. Then I started thinking about how offering both systems could create a better overall experience for everyone. This week I’ve had many conversations with my web designer/ brother-in-law about how we can streamline last year’s model and offer it as an add on. This would be done on a seasonal basis rather than week to week. We are not there yet, but this is something we are working on so stay tuned! Also don’t forget we offer pre-pack and home delivery for our online store which has a broad catalog of local and gourmet products.

In regards to the Farm Update, (which is what I’m supposed to be writing about…), this week we’ve been working hard transplanting warm weather veggies such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. Our lettuce, kales, onions and garlic are looking terrific. We’ve been getting the weeds under control in our strawberry rows and anticipate picking our own in a few weeks. One interesting (and a bit stressful) fact is with lumber shortages across the country do to increased demand in construction we can’t find wooden tomato stakes anywhere. We will need to convert to steel which is much more expensive however will last much longer so hopefully will be a good thing in the long run. That’s all for this now, have a great weekend!

John Norman